With Saudi deal, Johns Hopkins continues foreign expansion

Johns Hopkins Medicine has established a joint venture with Saudi petroleum company Aramco, the latest in a growing trend of health systems expanding their brand in emerging markets, according to MedCityNews.

The Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare Company, scheduled to open in Dharan, Saudi Arabia, next month, will give Johns Hopkins "an incubator for clinical and scientific progress," according to a company announcement.

The two companies also hope to address population health challenges specific to the area, such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity. About 16 percent of Saudi Arabia's population has Type 2 diabetes, according to the article, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Johns Hopkins, which is based in Baltimore, has been a pioneer in expanding to foreign markets, opening a 30-bed cancer center in Singapore in 2000. Other major systems like University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Partners Harvard Medical International have since followed suit, as has the Cleveland Clinic, which is establishing a hospital in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, while the Mayo Clinic has expanded to China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, according to the article.

Healthcare providers can learn from those in non-Western markets as well. A November editorial in the Washington Post argued Indian hospitals deliver outcomes comparable to those of the U.S. in a much more cost-effective manner, using strategies like task-shifting and a "hub-and-spoke" design for hospital systems, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- here's the article
- read the statement